Nate's (Travelers Rest)
Published Mar 01 2017
Hours of Operation: M-Sa 11A-9P, Su 4P-9P
Location: 1901 SC-414
Menu item consumed: Buffalo Chicken 6” Mini
Nate’s is a place that is “in” Travelers Rest but lacks the charm of it. The building has the tin exterior that reminds one of a mechanic's garage or old church's gymnasium…clearly not the cool versions of either. When you enter Nate's the interior is admittedly pretty cool, a gem hidden by such a rough exterior. Whether it’s the pool table, the humorous signage on the walls (“Who Doesn’t Like Pizza? A Weirdough"), or the small-town tip jar (“Tippin’: ain’t good for the cows…good for us!”), it’s got a great vibe inside. Admittedly if you found this joint in more of the centralized downtown TR there assuredly wouldn’t be the space inside available to them to help make it such a cool small-town hang-out feeling, a win for Nate’s in that regard as far as the location is concerned…it’s just seemingly THE FURTHEST part of TR and, being on the outskirts, not a place anyone would immediately think to visit without passing it (though it seemed the lunch crowd that was beginning to come was made of regulars, a bonus for Nate’s).
The service I received was as quick as the young lady could provide given the jokers in front of me took their sweet, precious time in ordering (know what you want if you’re going to stand in the line, guy…know what you want). However the guy behind the counter who had just come from the kitchen (a guy giving the “boss” vibe hard) looked at me and immediately assumed I was the one with the to-go order rather than thinking I might have ordered something there…he was either rather clairvoyant, somehow observant of a hint I didn't know I gave, or I have an appearance that either matches my name or looks like someone who is in a rush who would get a to-go order….and I’m not sure how to take any of this profiling). The girl behind the counter who cashed-me-out was very kind, even if in a small-town quiet way, and got me in-and-out of the building quickly. When I got to the car and saw my order it was indeed what I ordered: a glorified personal pan pizza, but one that also cost me less than $5.
I ordered the Buffalo Chicken pizza, per the girl’s suggestion when I called-in my order. When I got home and had it…well, it was what I was expecting when I first saw the building, not what I hoped when I got inside. Perhaps it was the flavor of pizza she suggested, perhaps it was choice I made getting a mini, or perhaps it was just that the crust is always like that, but something about the pizza just told me I didn’t want any more after I took 2 bites (less than $5 is good…unless you think about the fact you just paid $2.50 a bite…now THAT ratio is reflective of some overpricing). The pizza just lacked anything that was “wow,” and even decidedly lacked anything that hinted at “this is really good.” Unfortunately the best I could muster was this was “eh” (on the nicer, kinder flavor-reviewing).
Considering the price was low and the interior setting was cool, Nate’s showed promise. However I hope the Wings and Subs are better than the Pizza because the disappointment it was lends me to believe Nate’s got some work to do.